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2023 Presidency: Eschew Disunity, Electoral Violence, Yoruba Global Council Tells S-West Aspirants

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The Yoruba Global Council (YGC), a foremost and prestigious Yoruba Diaspora – based socio-cultural organization, has called on south west aspirants in the forthcoming general elections to eschew disunity and electoral violence.

The body was established to advance the course and interest of the Yoruba nation through the promotion of unity, mutual trust, trade liberalization, co-existence and interactions with other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and the Diaspora. YGC is also committed to deepening democracy by fostering the ethos, values and healthy practices of representative government in the South West and Nigeria in general.

In release made available to Freelanews and co-signed Prof. Lere Amusan and Prince Segun Akanni, who are the spokesman and general secretary of the body respectively, YGC sought to send strong admonishment to all presidential aspirants of the Yoruba extraction, especially those in the ruing All Progressives Congress (APC).

“We admonish them to shy away from divisive or politics of acerbity and eschew electoral violence as the country prepares for the 2022 primaries and 2023 general polls.  To put issues in proper perspectives, YGC warns all Yoruba presidential aspirants, particularly those in APC such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the incumbent Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and Pastor Tunde Bakare to be circumspect in the way and manner they go about their political ambition. 

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“They need to, at this momentous time of our history,  resist the game plan of the fifth columnists and foes of the Yoruba nation who are bent on taking the presidency away from the Yoruba come 2023. YGC believes that 2023 presents another golden opportunity for the Yoruba to produce the next President for the Federal Republic of Nigeria and divisive politicking or politics of ego and self-centeredness among those jostling for the number one seat must not be allowed to jeopardize such prospect,” the statement read.

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YGC reminded the aspirants how Yoruba lost Ilorin territory to Fulani and also how widely acclaimed winner of June 12 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, was backstabbed due to politics of self-centerness practised by frontline Yoruba leaders in the past.

“History is replete with circumstances in which the Yoruba lost their coveted territory of Ilorin to the Fulani owing to over-ambition and egoistic attitude demonstrated by Atiba. It would be succinctly recalled that it was the over ambition of Atiba to become the Alaafin, at the expense of his brother, Alaafin Oluewu,  that led to the painful loss of Ilorin to the Fulani today. Another trait of disunity played out during the June 12 struggle in which prominent Yoruba sons and leaders left Chief MKO Abiola in the lurch, thereby making the race lose the most exalted seat in the land. Must the Yoruba presidential aspirants and committed stakeholders to the Yoruba course and interest allow history repeat itself by allowing charlatans and political contractors infiltrate their camps and lead them to perdition?  YGC says categorical NO to the ploy and Machiavellian scheme of the adversaries of the Yoruba nation this time around!

“In view of the aforesaid, YGC enjoins all Yoruba presidential aspirants, especially the APC Heavyweights, to  sheath their swords, come together, play ball and find a common ground through which a credible, reliable, responsible and capable Yoruba son will be fielded to represent our collective interest and aspirations as well as those of the larger federation –  Nigeria. YGC is not in any way averse to the idea of one federated Nigeria but on the proviso that such a federation is built upon egalitarianism, justice, equity, inclusiveness and sense of belonging for all and sundry.

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“Besides, it has been, over the years, observed that every election cycle poses potent threat to the sustainability of our nascent democracy and the democratization process. Since 1999, developments leading to each election year had been and have continued to be characterized by political assassination, brigandage, hate speech, gruesome abduction, grandstanding, implosion occasioned by lack of internal democracy (especially after party primaries) and anti-party activities among other encumbrances,” the statement continued.

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The group noted that all of these unnecessarily heat up the polity and create palpable fear in the minds of the electorate – a development that compels them (voters) to abdicate their franchise on Election Day. It, therefore, unequivocally decries these dangerous preludes to Nigerian elections and canvases for a quick change of the obnoxious narratives.     

“Based on the foregoing and in line with our mandate and unassailable commitment to advancing the collective interest of the Yorba race both at home and in Diaspora and in fostering peaceful co-existence, we reiterate our warning by calling on all illustrious sons and daughters of the Yoruba nation – seeking the presidency, to embrace unity and a sense of political camaraderie by according Yoruba interest premium priority ahead of personal ambition.” 

YGC also appealed to all political aspirants, party leaders and critical stakeholders to play prominent role in the advocacy for peaceful, free and fair elections at both primary and general levels ahead of the 2023 general polls.

“Democracy can only thrive when all stakeholders eschew all forms of electoral violence, but seek to embrace peace in all its ramifications before, during and after the 2023 general elections. Elections will come and go but the indivisibility of the nation and its people unity must remain intact. It is to this end that we crave the indulgence of all players and gladiators in the electoral arena to support our advocacy for peace by contributing to the creation of secure and peaceful atmosphere that guarantees the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections, especially in Yorubaland and indeed, Nigeria come 2023.

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“We are utterly aware of the qualities possessed by each of the Yoruba presidential aspirants that have declared their interest to run and we repose sheer confidence in their sense of leadership, charisma, capacity, responsibility, diligence and commitment towards a better Nigeria and Yoruba nation, but everyone of you cannot be president at the same time. Hence, a common ground must be sought and worked upon which will bring to the fore the most capable, reliable and trustworthy Yoruba candidate for the presidency.

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“In keeping the peace and jettisoning electoral violence, all players and critical stakeholders must again work assiduously in ensuring their campaign trains and parties’ supporters keep to the rules of the game (as enshrined in the Electoral Act) and report the activities of any unscrupulous elements that may wish to thwart the process to the law enforcement agencies for appropriate action.

“In summary, YGC fervently believes it is Yoruba time and moment to produce the next president for the country going forward and all efforts to torpedo that dream by enemies of the race by pitching one Yoruba aspirant against the other will be fought with every resource at its disposal,” it submitted. 

The Yoruba socio-cultural organisation revealed it recognises peace as one of the critical ingredients that will guarantee a successful conduct of the 2023 primary and general elections and all hands have to be on desk to keep the peace.

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Crime

Lagos teenager dies after father’s beating

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Lagos teenager dies after father’s beating

The Police in Lagos State have begun an investigation into the death of a 19-year-old boy allegedly beaten to death by his father.

The Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the incident on Thursday.

 

Also read: Police arrest man with human skull in Ogun

 

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The spokesperson said that the Alagbado Police Division received a report of the alleged crime on Tuesday.

He said, “At about 12.00 p.m. on July 5, at about 2.00 p.m., one Olumide gave his son, Adeyemi a deep cut under moderate correction, at his right hand side with a shovel over an undisclosed offence.”

Hundeyin said that the young man sustained injury as a result of the impact of the shovel attack

“The young man was immediately rushed to the hospital for treatment.

“But when the injury became serious, he was taken to the General Hospital Ikeja, where he gave up the ghost as a result of tetanus infection, as confirmed by the doctor on duty.

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“The scene was visited by detectives of the division.

“However, the father of the victim is currently at large and the case is under investigation,” he said.

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Crime

Police hunt ‘area boys’ for killing final-year Bayelsa varsity student over N150 levy

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Police hunt ‘area boys’ for killing final-year Bayelsa varsity student over N150 levy

There is outrage in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following the stabbing to death on Monday of a final-year student of the Niger Delta University.

Community sources who spoke to our correspondent on Wednesday said the victim, Francis Palowei, was at the Sand Dump, a popular spot among the students for relaxation and socialising when some youths in the area stabbed him to death when he failed to give them N150.

 

Also read: From lounge to Kirikiri prison, Nigerian DJ alleges police brutality

 

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Palowei, who hailed from Obrigbene community in the Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, was expected to graduate on Wednesday, July 24, 2024, when the university would hold its next convocation.

Theheute gathered that men of the Nigeria Police Force had gone to the community and started searching for the perpetrators.

According to one source, who pleaded anonymity, students of the institution have also joined in the search for the perpetrators while the shock of the incident has made some students shun classes, with a greater majority attending classes.

The Public Relations Officer of the university, Indoni Engezi, who confirmed the incident, told Theheute that the incident did not affect academic activities as “the university is a different community.”

Engezi said the issue affected the host community, Amassoma, and that the police were already on top of the situation.

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“The owner of the sand dump does not charge any fees for using the premises, but some youths usually charge N150 from anyone who wants to use the premises”, he said.

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The Police Public Relations Officer, Musa Mohammed, said the Commissioner of Police, Francis Idu, had deployed additional manpower to the community to maintain the peace.

Mohammed said the police had launched a manhunt for the killers.

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FG gets over $751m World Bank loan

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FG targets 2.1 million barrels of daily production by December 2024

The Federal Government has obtained $751.88m out of the recently approved $1.5bn loan by the World Bank.

The loan under the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilisation to Enable Transformation, Development Policy Financing Programme project was disbursed on June 28, 2024, documents from the global financial institution seen by Theheute indicated on Wednesday.

 

Also read: School Feeding: FG To Explore PPP As World Bank, UNICEF, Pledge Support

 

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This loan project is a part of the broader $2.25bn approved by the World Bank for Nigeria on June 13, 2024, to bolster Nigeria’s economic stability and support its vulnerable populations.

The $1.5bn loan comprises two separate agreements between Nigeria and the World Bank: An International Development Association credit of $750m, and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan of $750m.

The amount disbursed includes the entire $750m from the IDA loan and $1.88m from the IBRD of the World Bank, with an undisbursed balance of $748.13m.

It also had fee charges of $1.88m.

The proposed DPF for Nigeria consists of a standalone operation with two tranches designed to support significant reforms in alignment with the government’s economic stabilisation and recovery priorities.

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This operation is structured around four key results distributed across two pillars, which include increasing fiscal oil revenues from 1.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in 2022 to 2.7 per cent by 2025, boosting non-oil fiscal revenues from 5.3 per cent to 7.3 per cent over the same period, expanding social safety nets to assist 67 million vulnerable Nigerians, and raising the import value of previously banned products from $11.3m to $54.6m by 2025.

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The Federal Ministry of Finance is tasked with the implementation of these reforms, working under the oversight of the World Bank, which collaborates with other key national stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to monitor and assess the progress and impact of these reforms.

The World Bank will provide supervision and support throughout the implementation process, ensuring that the operation’s goals are met efficiently and effectively.

According to the financing agreement documents for the loan, Nigeria is expected to meet certain conditions to get the entire funds.

Recall that both IDA Credit and IBRD loan agreements have the same requirements, according to the loan agreement documents obtained from the World Bank.

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Some of the actions to be undertaken under this loan project include a presidential executive order mandating all fiscal transfers to the Federal Government, including those from crude oil sales and gasoline imports, to be executed at the prevailing market exchange rate within a specified implementation period.

The submission of a draft bill to the National Assembly to progressively increase the VAT rate to at least 12.5 per cent by 2026 and allow input tax credits for capital and services.

Also, the World Bank included a submission of a revised bill to the National Assembly mandating the use of the national social registry as the primary targeting tool for social investment programmes.

The documents read, “No withdrawal shall be made of the single withdrawal tranche unless the bank is satisfied, after an exchange of views as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 3.01 of Article III of this agreement based on evidence satisfactory to the bank with the progress achieved by the borrower in carrying out the programme;

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“That the macroeconomic policy framework of the borrower is adequate;

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that the actions described in Section I.B [which are the key requirements presented in the next section of this report] of this schedule have been taken.

“If, after this exchange of views, the bank is not so satisfied, it may give notice to the Borrower to that effect and, if within 90 days after the notice, the borrower has not taken steps satisfactory to the bank, concerning paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) above, then the bank may, by notice to the borrower, cancel all or any part of the unwithdrawn loan balance.”

So far, Nigeria has made progress in some areas, such as increasing petrol prices and implementing cash transfer programmes.

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